Luis Planas has financed a meal offered to more than two hundred representatives of the irrigators with money from the Recovery Fund of the European Union (EU). The events occurred last Thursday in Palma del Río, province of Córdoba, for which the current Minister of Agriculture has been a deputy in several legislatures, including the current one. The menu for the “lunch” offered was as follows: Iberian acorn-fed ham, pure sheep cheese, Iberian salchichón, “pera” tomato salmorejo, country omelette, monkfish empanaditos, lemon anchovies, Iberian flamenquin, stewed croquette and sirloin Uncle Pepe, dishes to which must be added a wide selection of drinks. The banquet was served by the company “El Primo” and was the culmination of a morning conference on “Spanish irrigation, a benchmark for sustainable and modern irrigation”, which was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, through the General Directorate of Rural Development, in charge of Isabel Bombal, dependent, in turn, on the General Secretariat of Agriculture and Food. The event was financed with money from the European Union (EU) through funds called “NextGenerationEU”, via the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Spanish Government.
The act in question was inaugurated by Luis Planas and experts such as Víctor Morales Godoy, from the public company Seiasa; José Manuel Delgado, from the General Community of Irrigators of Riegos del Levante, from the left bank of the Segura in Alicante; Augusto Jesús Hernández, general director of Agriculture of the Canary Islands; Agustín González Parejo, general manager of the Canal del Zújar Irrigation Community, in Badajoz; Santiago Guillen Picó, drafting engineer of the renewable energy implementation project, through floating photovoltaic panels, of the Príncipe de España Irrigation Community in Albacete; María Ascensión Carmona from the Genil-Cabra Irrigation Community in Córdoba; Fernando Iniesta technical director of the Bajo Guadalquivir Irrigation Community in Seville and José Ángel Hernández, deputy director of Works and Exploitation of Seiasa.
There was also a round table moderated by Cristina Clemente, Deputy Director General of Irrigation at the Ministry of Agriculture, with the participation of Andrés del Campo, President of the National Federation of Irrigation Communities (FENACORE); José Manuel Cepeda, from FERAGUA (the irrigators of Andalusia); Isidro Cruz, from the Irrigation Community of Pozo Alcón, Hinojares and Cuevas del Campo in Jaén and Granada; Rocío Castro from the Irrigation Community of the Left Bank of Porma in León and Ana Hernández Buendía, Director of Research, Development and Innovation of the Paloma de Águilas Group in Murcia. The closure was given by the aforementioned Isabel Bombal. According to the official program, immediately afterwards (2:15 p.m.) a “lunch” took place in the tents that were set up for this purpose in the Genil Margen Izquierda Irrigation Community in Palma del Río.
From planas agapes to cereals
What is important and serious is not so much the amount that Luis Planas has spent to entertain a group of representatives of the Spanish irrigators (only in the “lunch” the amount would be higher than 10,000 euros) but that this money comes from budget of the European Union (EU) and has arrived in Spain through the Recovery Plan. Yes, the one that everyone talks about, but of which almost no one has seen a single euro, especially small and medium-sized businessmen and the self-employed, including those in the countryside. Now we have a clue, a small one if you will, of how a part of those funds are being managed, in this case by Luis Planas and some of his “mariachis”: in organizing days before the elections, which end in banquets with very Iberian products, except in the name, because it was not, neither Spanish wine, nor lunch, nor appetizer, nor food, it was a “lunch”. The members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control already have a sample of how these funds are spent. They were recently in Spain to investigate and left without answering many of their questions.. Now they already have some, small if you want in terms of economic amount, but very symbolic.
And, while Planas is campaigning, cereal growers are concerned, with every reason in the world, about the evolution of grain prices. The internal market was characterized last week by a significant drop and it could well be said that it broke down. The same thing happened in the Paris and Chicago futures markets until Friday at noon. At that time, rumors spread that Russia could temporarily suspend its grain exports to allow prices to recover from the sharp falls, and since then, a strong recovery has taken place. Hence, we must be very attentive to what is happening today, Monday, in the futures markets, to see if this recovery is maintained or, on the contrary, it returns to the bearish path. The evolution in Spain will depend on that.